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SOHPEC Kaizen Workshop and Learning Tours

SOHPEC Learning Tours and Kaizen Workshops

One of the best ways to get the most out of your SOHPEC membership is to host and attend learning tours and Kaizen workshops. They allow you to see application of lean principles and provide many simple ideas that you can immediately apply to your business. Hosting a tour or kaizen gives you multiple sets of outside eyes to help you generate valuable improvement ideas.

Learning Tour

  • What it is – the host company invites a group of SOHPEC participants to tour its operations and provide feedback on what they see
  • Who sets it up – SOHPEC is in charge of advertising, participant sign up, passing along specific tour information to participants, board representation at the event and event evaluations.
  • Host Company responsibilities – determines number of participants they can accommodate (small is OK as is large), sets tour route, provides SOHPEC with overview for tour announcement, and provides nametags and lunch if necessary. On the day of the tour, they provide a brief company overview, a tour and debriefing time. SOHPEC board members are available to help with agenda but they do not participate in the running of the tour or debriefing.
  • Tour Participants – tour company and provide company with feedback on things they have seen that they are impressed with and things that they see that could be improved. They also gather useful ideas that they can implement in their own business.

Kaizen Workshop

  • What it is – A kaizen workshop is scheduled when you want to solve a problem without a ready answer, eliminate waste or to identify and implement solutions to a problem using lean principles. It is generally an action packed day to weeklong workshop where the focus is on delivering immediate business results. In its simplest form, Kaizen is continuous improvement. The word kaizen means to take apart (kai) and put back together in a thoughtful manner so it is better than when you first started (zen; pronounced as in been).
  • Who sets it up – SOHPEC is in charge of advertising, participant sign up, passing along specific tour information to participants, board representation at the event and evaluations.
  • Host Company responsibilities – determines number of participants they can accommodate, defines problem statement, scope of project and business need, provides SOHPEC with overview of workshop, and provides nametags and lunch if necessary. Successful workshops usually are made up of 8-10 participants with a mix of host company and SOHPEC participants. Workshops are most successful with a clearly defined problem and completion of prework before the workshop start. Often a lean champion is used to help with problem definition, initial team training and running of the kaizen workshop. SOHPEC can help match a champion to help run workshops in companies who are just starting on their lean journey.
  • Workshop participants – agree to attend the entire workshop and participate as active members of the kaizen team. Come with an open mind and be willing to get your hands dirty.

If you are interested in hosting a learning tour or kaizen workshop, please contact David Matthews for additional information and assistance.

SOHPEC; helping companies learn lean through application.




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